Water is K’é: Learning from the Navajo Community to Promote Early Child Health

Online Publication Date:
January 3, 2024
Publication Status:
Awaiting Publication
Manuscript PDF File:

**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP). All rights reserved.**

ABSTRACT:
Background: Drinking water instead of sugary drinks is key to reducing health disparities. Since beverage habits are shaped by complex personal, community, and environmental factors, community input is critical to design any intervention promoting water.
Objectives: We worked with community partners to design a program to promote healthy beverage habits among young Navajo children.
Methods: The socioecological model, community-based participatory methods, and strengths-based principles shaped our process. In Phase 1, multigenerational feedback taught us about the cultural importance of water and how water quality concerns influence beverage choices. In Phase 2, our Water is K’é Community Advisory Group (CAG) played a leading role to design the intervention centered around cultural connection, health literacy, and water access.
Lessons Learned: Water is K’é was created through community partnership. Community listening and mini-pilots take time but allows the program to meet community’s needs and interests.
Conclusions: The solutions to health disparities lie within the community itself.